The Medusan ship is, surprisingly, a Federation ship. At first glance you would not think it but the nacelles and deflector soon give it away. This transport ship appeared in a single episode of the Original Series and even then only in the remastered version. We’ve seen a few of these remastered ST:TOS ships in the collection recently and they can be a bit hit and miss. They are however always interesting and varied.
This is a ship designed for the non-corporeal Medusans by the Federation which explains why we can recognize some of the ‘stock’ components alongside more unusual features. The design still vaguely favors a double hull approach though instead of a saucer section the front is a sphere and it is joined more directly to the engineering hull. Extending from the rear of the hull is a circle of ten rods, their purpose unknown which also reappear between the sphere and engineering hulls to connect the two together. The nacelles run the entire length of the vessel and are in keeping with the period as they look very similar to the Enterprise’s. As does the huge deflector to a certain extent. All these parts are superbly represented in this model. The deflector is a pleasing off-orange with a pointed centre and the nacelles have really nice ramscoops made of translucent peach plastic. Along the sides of the nacelles are orangey swooshes with a crescent pennant, either depicting some division of Starfleet or the Medusans themselves. The unusual rods are separate pieces slotted into the tail of the hull which fit straight and rigidly.
One neat feature of the spherical hull is the cut out sections on either side that the nacelles nestle in. This looks great and works in the model’s favour as it allows the nacelles to be attached to the sphere whilst maintaining a very good illusion of separation. Overall detail is sparse as you would expect for a ST:TOS ship, even a re-mastered one. At least though the hull has a faint aztecing instead of plain colour all over. Construction is excellent and uses a wide variety of pieces especially considering this is one of the smallest models seen so far. In fact it is comparable in size to one or two of the larger shuttlecraft models. I count at least twenty pieces which is very impressive though only one, the underside of the hull, is metal.
This is a really great model that has grown on me. It isn’t particularly special to look at but it has so many little features and it is so well constructed and thought through. This is what all models in the collection should aspire to. The ST:TOS design means it is rather bland in colour and detail so it just misses full marks to get four out five, but that reflects the original design more than the model itself.
- Detailing: 4/5 – Plain but up to standard for a ship of this era
- Construction: 5/5 – With the exception of an obvious join between top and bottom this is superbly put together
- Ship design: 4/5 – Kind of weird really
- Overall: 4/5 – More of this standard of construction please!
The feature articles in this magazine cover the designing of the ship and a six page read on ST:TOS producer Fred Freiberger. I don’t tend to talk much about the magazines but it is worth pointing out the collection has produced a large corpus of interesting reading on the history of Star Trek, much of it original.